I have a design that consists of a flat plate with a variety of small elements protruding from both the top and the bottom. I've tried modelling this as a multi-body part where each type of element is driven by either a table or a sketch and it simply isn't working very well. The file size grows at an alarming rate and the individual protrusions (which have complex shapes) become lost in a sea of features....it'll be very hard to maintain this part.
If, on the other hand, I model the individual protrusions as separate little parts that I then join together with the baseplate in an assembly all is well. The individual parts are easy to maintain and document and the overall assembly easy to understand and modify.
So, the question is: What's the best approach to saving a fully connected homogenous assembly like this as a part just for the purpose of having a job-shop be able to generate toolpaths for machining?